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David Schultz, Hamline University

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1 David Schultz, Hamline University

2 QuestionsState Capitol  What is Minnesota’s history with amendments?  What has happened in other states?  Why amend the constitution and not use ordinary legislation?

3 EraDateProposedAdoptedPercentage 19 th century1858-98664873% Progressive Era 1900-1918471123% 1920s1920-2815747% Depression WWII 1930-4420840% Post WWII1948-1972382668% Contempor- ary 1974-2010272074% Total21312056%

4 TypeProposedAdoptedPercentage Structure of government 995253% Finance (tax/bonding) 825061% Individual rights171271% Regulatory15640% Total21312056%

5  Among the 12 adopted Amendments addressing individual rights, four of them restricted rights

6  Three dealt with jury trials ◦ 1890 allowed for verdicts by juries in civil trials ◦ 1904 abolish the requirement of a grand jury ◦ 1988 allow use of fewer than 12 in civil and non- felony cases  One dealt with voting rights ◦ 1896 prohibited aliens from voting

7  Among the 12 adopted amendments addressing individual rights, five enlarged voting rights.

8  1868 allowed Blacks to vote  1875 allowed women to vote in school affairs  1898 allowed women to vote and serve on library boards  1960 expand voting rights of Indians  1970 reduce voting age to 18

9  There are many years where multiple amendments appear on the ballot.  Most amendments in any year: ◦ 1914, 13 amendments proposed, two adopted.  Second most amendments in any year: ◦ 1916, 8 amendments proposed, 2 passed

10  Constitutional amendments generally not used to restrict rights  Constitutional amendments generally have expanded voting rights  Constitutional amendments generally have expanded government capacity to tax and spend (exception is with railroads and aid to religious schools)  Constitutional amendments never used to address social issues (except one addressing rules of probate). No amendments ever proposed to voters to address alcohol, abortion, marriage.

11  31 other states have passed laws or used ballot initiatives to ban same-sex marriage  6 states currently allow same-sex marriage  3 states besides MN this year have gay marriage on the ballot ◦ Maine, Maryland, and Washington

12  Donald P. Haider-Markel & Kenneth J. Meier, Legislative Victory, Electoral Uncertainty: Explaining Outcomes in the Battles Over Lesbian and Gay Rights ◦ 77% of those seeking to repeal the rights of lesbians and gays were successful in doing so, and in the 13 attempts to extend rights of gays and lesbians, 84% were unsuccessful.

13  Same-Sex marriage already illegal in Minnesota ◦ Baker v. Nelson, 291 Minn. 310, 191 N.W.2d 185 (1971) ◦ Minnesota Statutes, chapters 517.01 and 517.03

14  More than 30 states have enacted voter ID laws across the United States

15 ProCon  Allegations of voter fraud or impersonation at the polls  Needed to assure voter confidence  Evidence of fraud is negligible  Highest voter turnout in the nation  Potential disenfranchisement  Costs to state, local governments, and voters –”The Costs of the Proposed Elections Amendment” MN Citizens for Election Integrity

16  Supreme Court upheld voter ID in Indiana in Crawford v. Marion County  Courts have suspended or invalidated voter ID in Texas, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and Missouri

17  What will the Elections Amendment actually require? ◦ The need for enabling legislation

18  Minority rights fare badly in ballot initiatives ◦ Barbara S. Gamble, Putting Civil Rights to a Popular Vote, 41 American Journal of Political Science 245 (1997)  Measures aimed at limiting the civil rights of minority groups were much more successful than other types of initiatives and referendums. Between 1898 and 1978 found that only 33% of substantive measures succeeded. These relatively low passage rates change dramatically when the limitation of civil rights is the subject of the proposal. Gamble found that 78% of the 74 civil rights measures that she studied resulted in a defeat of minority interests.

19 ◦ Why amend the Constitution? ◦ What is the purpose of a constitution? ◦ Repercussion in amending the Constitution?

20 Thank you.

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